Happy Martin Luther King Day, everyone! With Sun vs. Snow rapidly approaching, I thought I'd put some of my prior contest advice posts in one handy place for you. (Side note: This is the contest where I met Michelle Hauck, and I got amazing feedback on my first page as an alternate, which lead to revising my manuscript and eventually helped me find my agent. I LOVE contests.)
From the Contest Slush - Query Do's and Don't's. These are things I noticed while reading slush for PitchSlam and helping the contest hosts pick their teams. Many of these same themes popped up while reading slush for QueryKombat later in October.
First 250 Insights. Most of these were also gleaned from contests, although I do offer first page critiques.
Pitch Insights. How to create an elevator pitch. Although Sun vs. Snow evaluates first page and query letter, it's still good for people to know how to create a pitch in 30 words or less, just in case you happen to find yourself in an elevator with your dream agent or editor.
Here's my own post on the importance of picking a genre, which is especially true for contests. Also, Connor Goldsmith from Fuse Literary blogged about the differences between various speculative fiction subgenres, and it's a good read if you write SciFi, Fantasy, or Horror.
If you need help preparing for a contest, remember I do contest entry critiques for only $20. More information here.
Good luck, everyone!